I wrote I SPY Christmas after it became clear that Scholastic wanted that title as a sequel to the first I SPY book. The Christmas theme was a natural for Walter Wick. He set up one beautiful shot after another in his studio. As he worked, he sent me Polaroids for discussion and riddle writing. The arrival of each Polaroid by Fed Ex was like receiving a Christmas present! Even the Fed Ex driver was excited because I usually opened the envelope right away and showed it to her. (This driver always wore a Santa Claus hat when she drove her truck at Christmas time.)
In my notes from 1991 I have a list of 26 pictures that we proposed for the book. The finished book contains 13. Our proposal also said, "The book will emphasize beautiful traditions and handmade things; we will avoid materialism and commercialism." I'm proud that we kept to that goal.
My favorite picture is the last one. Walter used baking soda for the snow. The sky is backlit paper with holes poked through to make shiny stars. One of the hills is a white ballet slipper. When I saw that, I asked Walter if he would make a Big Dipper and a Little Dipper in the sky because I wanted the rhyme: dipper and slipper. Walter said, "Sure!" You'll find that rhyme in the Extra Credit riddles. What is your favorite picture in I SPY Christmas?
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Parents Magazine, Best Books List
Publishers Weekly Bestsellers List
“Similar in concept and format to "I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles" , this features 13 scenes of Christmas. Short rhymes challenge kids to find a variety of small objects in the purposefully crowded pictures. Wick's full-color photographs fill the large, double-page spreads with seasonal scenes, such as an antique workbench covered with wooden toys, tools, and sawdust; a closet packed with skates, boots, mittens, scarves, and sleds; a kitchen table scattered with cookies, cutters, candy decorations, and gingerbread men; and an old- fashioned toy shop window. Crisp and clear, these striking photos will provide hours of holiday fun for young Waldo watchers.”
“Plenty of fun for the whole family”